Are You Too Concerned With Your Image

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 24th, 2010 6 Comments

Direct marketing expert Murray Raphel a regular columnist for years for Direct Marketing Magazine compiled his best columns into a marvelous little book with a title that is instructive in itself… “But? Would Saks Fifth Avenue Do It”

I suggest that you get the book and I suggest you consider the implications of its title. Are we too concerned with image and too bound by convention to command the attention and the interest of the marketplace?

Saks Fifth Avenue may be able to continue and prosper almost exclusively because of its image established over many years but can you? My friend Gary Halbert says that the first clue to an advertising expert who can’t sell is a lot of conversation about image. If you need or want a lot of results from your ad dollars you cannot afford typical image advertising.

Consider the retail menswear business as an example. Look in the yellow pages at the retail menswear ads. Get an Entertainment Magazine like those given away free in hotels and look at those menswear retail ads. Get your newspaper and look at those retail menswear ads.

What do you notice? Isn’t it true that most of these ads look very much alike? They are infected with a ‘me-to-ism” that is deadly in its dullness.

Most of these ads also reflect the influence of the layout artist or graphic designer more than the influence of the copywriter. Yet we know that it is copy that sells.

Go figure.


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6 Responses

  1. I was having a debate with someone on a LinkedIn discussion about this very topic last week.
    The name of their business had the word ‘Creative’ in it, so you can guess from which camp they were from 😉
    Needless to say they did not share our beliefs in the fact that copy sells and the more you tell the more you sell.

  2. Charles Ra says:

    copy sells and the more you tell the more you sell.
    true statement, it simply works.

  3. Rob Anspach says:

    I believe I just wrote the same line “the more you tell the more you sell” in an article I wrote called Long vs Short – all about copywriting.

    What started the article out was how one of my subscribers lambasted me on my long copy and told me that it was falling on deaf ears… yet he read it…then took action. And sadly he criticized me and the 100 year old copywriting industry saying long copy is outdated and doesn’t do the reader justice. That short copy is where its at and that we as marketers need to get with the program.

    Although is opinion was noted, his view was flawed and his method insulting.

    Frankly 100 years of proven direct response copywriting works everytime, for any industry and it’s proven time and time again to make you more money.

    Being creative may look pretty, but the results are nowhere near impressive as what is created by an influential copywriter.

  4. Scott says:

    trying to get the golf industry to figure that out. It’s like pulling teeth.

  5. I know the feeling.

    Do you want to get compliments…… or do you want to make sales?

    Once you get to the essence of what you are trying to achieve, its a no brainer!

  6. Excellent observation about the Yellow Pages. Still holds true today. That’s the main reason (it ain’t just “the internet”) that so many small business owners claim “No one uses the Yellow Pages anymore.” Millions and millions certainly do — but unfortunately we’re bombarded with boring, plain vanilla, horribly designed, ineffective ads.

    As long as the Yellow Pages publishers (whose couldn’t-sell-ice-in-the-desert graphic artists continue to churn out crappy ads) keep publishing boring directories, I’ll have plenty of clients to help…

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